What Is a Pedigree Chart & How Is it Used?

A pedigree chart is used to make a family tree of generations. The chart usually has six generations on a page and lists all of the family members starting with the person making the tree. The tree starts with one person and a spouse then lists parents, grandparents, and keeps going.

The Pedigree Chart

The pedigree chart starts with you as the author and creator. You list yourself as the No. 1 person. You list the birthdates, place of birth and death, and place of each person on your side of the family. You will list any spouse with birthdates and death as well. As the first person on the chart, you list your children if you have any. Print a fillable pedigree chart from Misbach Enterprises.


After you comes your mother and father. Then you enter your father's father and mother and your mother's father and mother. Then you enter the parents of your parents' parents and keep going. After you finish the first page, you will have yourself, parents, grandparents, great grandparents and great-great grandparents.

Starting the Chart

Before you start the pedigree chart, you must have the information required to complete the chart. You can use ancestry web sites to search for family members or ask living relatives for information. Ancestry.com is a good place to start your research. Double-check all of your information before entering it on the pedigree chart.

Adding Family

When you find aunts and uncles, you will start a new chart. If you have an Aunt Bev who is you mom's sister, you would begin a second chart with your grandma and enter aunts and uncles under her children with your grandpa as the spouse. You continue this until you have all your family listed on a chart.

Continuing the Chart

If you come to the end of the first chart on page one but you still have more information, start a new page as a continuation of the first. Spread out into multiple pages as much as you need to encompass all the family information. You would mark each chart as it corresponds to each person on the previous chart.

Numbering Charts

In the upper left hand corner, enter the information from a previous chart. For instance, if you are working off chart one with and continuing with information from person 16 on chart one, the second chart would read: "No. 1 on this chart is the same as 16 on chart 1." With each additional chart, indicate who the first person on the new chart was on the previous one.